Ofgem has warned the UK’s decarbonisation plan may be blown off course unless more cash is invested in low-carbon heating, electric transport, and carbon capture and storage. In its annual State of the Market report, published yesterday, Ofgem warned although the UK has made significant progress in decarbonising its electricity system over the last decade, progress has been much slower in reducing emissions in heat and transport. Emissions from buildings were higher in 2016 than in 2014, the report points out, even after adjusting for mild winters. Meanwhile, it remains highly uncertain what impact electric cars will have on electricity demand without further detail on policy choices, technology development and smart charging arrangements, Ofgem said.
Business Green 1st Nov 2017 read more »
Ofgem has argued that competitive auctions for established renewables could still be beneficial to the UK power market. Today the industry regulator published its State of the Market report, a new, annual publication in which Ofgem will provide its insight on various facets of the UK power market. Its maiden report broached topics including competition, affordability and security of supply. One particular area of contention for Ofgem was however the decarbonisation of UK power. The inability for consumers to benefit from rapid falls in the costs of renewables was of particular concern for the regulator, echoing similar concerns raised by Dieter Helm in his own review, published last week. Ofgem however concluded this to be a consequence of the failure to ensure low carbon support schemes to be competitive, both in the past and in more recent awards. It notes that the vast majority – circa 90% – of support under the Contracts for Difference scheme has been awarded to less-established technologies. So-called ‘Pot One’ technologies, including solar and onshore wind, have been excluded from CfDs since the first auction in 2015 and despite allowing specific island onshore wind projects to compete for the forthcoming third round, government has so far resisted calls to welcome them back in.
Solar Power Portal 31st Oct 2017 read more »
The 2012 Gas Generation Strategy estimated that 26 GW of new gas generation would be needed by 2030. Yet the actual amount of new domestic capacity being created is falling well short. Britain has therefore begun – with little public acknowledgment – to import an increasing amount of electricity from continental Europe. It is now projected that the UK will receive 67 TWh of power from undersea interconnectors by 2030, which is a tenfold increase in the projection made in 2012. ‘The Hidden Wiring’ by Tony Lodge and Daniel Mahoney – published by the Centre for Policy Studies on Monday, 23rd October – shows why a move towards a greater reliance on imported electricity could be problematic. Its key conclusions include that: Interconnector capacity will almost quadruple by 2030, allowing 20% of UK electricity to be imported from Europe; Interconnectors can be a useful way of delivering secure and cheap supplies across Europe, given they can be used to import and export. But in Britain’s case it is increasingly one-way traffic. In the 12 months to March 2017, the UK imported 17.22 TWh but only exported 2.78 TWh.
The HR Director 1st Nov 2017 read more »